Accidental gun deaths–other perspectives

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Last month I wrote about kids being killed by guns. To give the issue a little more meaning, let’s look at three cases that were covered by the Columbus Dispatch and the Cincinnati Enquirer in the last three months.

June 5: a 14-year old boy in Hamilton, Ohio, died from a gunshot to the head. He and a 16-year old, who was holding the gun when it discharged, had been playing with the gun.

May 2: a 2-year old boy in Arizona was in critical condition after shooting himself in the face with his father’s handgun. The toddler found the gun on his father’s bed.

March 27: a 2-year old girl was shot in the head by her 5-year old brother in Highland Heights, Ky.

With stories like these, it’s no surprise that 25 preschoolers died in 2010 from accidental gun deaths and 201 were accidentally injured by guns.  Add to those numbers 26 kids ages 10-14 who were accidentally killed and 265 who were accidentally injured by guns in 2010. When writing about accidental gun deaths, is it appropriate to mention the 54 toddlers and 107 kids ages 10-14 who were murdered that year with guns?

Guns are a public health issue, an idea that makes the National Rifle Association bristle. If the idea of guns being a public health issue doesn’t resonate with you, here’s a perspective that might help. The Center for Disease Control has compiled the Most Distinctive Causes of Death by State, 2001-2010, where the cause of death “is significantly higher than the national rate.” For Tennessee and Alabama, it was the accidental discharge of firearms, which accounted for 684 deaths in those states.

When it comes to gun laws, the NRA—which seems to oppose all gun laws—likes to tell us, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” I think the slogan is a little silly, but why argue? I just want to know why we don’t seem to be concerned about people accidentally killing people—with guns.


Jack D’Aurora writes for


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  1. Dan McCormick  June 16, 2015

    Great article though I would add that there are a plethora of limits in place on both gun ownership and arms availability. Those friends of mine that are passionate about their 2nd Amendment rights approach that delicate line that might lead to confiscation by a benevolent overseer. Glad to see you’re on top of it.

  2. Fred  June 16, 2015

    It would be interesting to compare the population of gun owners versus accidental deaths in those states that are mentioned in your blog. The numbers are alarming when you consider the death of anyone but when you consider how many people own guns and how many guns are owned by each person the numbers become realistic.
    Accidents are inevitable when children are concerned but when it comes down to “death caused by guns” the problem becomes an Adult Education Responsibility issue. Do the parents ever get prosecuted for being negligent or is the death of a child sufficient punishment? That should be the subject of yet another blog.

  3. Eric  June 20, 2015

    I came across this video of an Australian comedian speaking of guns earlier today.

    A hilarious Australian stand-up comic explains what U.S. gun laws look like to the rest of the world


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